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European shares rise ahead of U.S. election, earnings help
November 7, 2016 / 5:21 PM / a year ago

European shares rise ahead of U.S. election, earnings help

(Adds details, updates prices)

* Pan-European STOXX index up 1.5 pct

* Results boost shares in HSBC, Ryanair

* PostNL rallies after rejecting improved bid

* UBS downgrade pressures Zalando

By Danilo Masoni and Alistair Smout

MILAN/LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - European shares rallied on Monday, underpinned by stronger banking stocks, as news that Hillary Clinton would not face charges over her use of emails gave her bid for the White House fresh momentum just before the Nov. 8 vote.

The pan-European STOXX 600 closed up 1.5 percent. Last week the pan-European index made its biggest weekly loss since February on growing uncertainty over the U.S. vote’s outcome.

Markets had been positioned for a victory for Democrat Clinton until last week’s wobble, and she is seen as offering greater certainty and stability by investors.

She got a fresh boost over Republican rival Donald Trump after the FBI said on Sunday it stood by its earlier finding that no criminal charges were warranted.

“With this result being seen as a positive for her chances of winning tomorrow’s election, the market has opened with a risk-on tone,” Rabobank analysts wrote in a note.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank said a Clinton victory could lift Europe’s STOXX index by around 5 percent, while uncertainty linked to a Trump win could see it fall 5-10 percent. Several polls gave Clinton a 3-6 point lead on Monday.

No sector was trading in the red. Banks rose 2.7 percent, helped by a 4.6-percent surge in HSBC. The emerging markets-focused bank had posted a sharp jump in its core capital, bolstering the outlook for near-term dividend payments.

“The key feature of the numbers is the reported CT1 (core tier 1 ratio) of 13.9 percent and leverage ratio of 5.4 percent, substantially ahead of expectations and management’s target,” said UBS, which rates the stock as “neutral”.

Italy’s Intesa, France’s BNP Paribas and Germany’s Deutsche Bank rose between 3.7 percent and 5.9 percent. Analysts had said banks would suffer in particular by any policy uncertainty created by a Trump presidency.

Miners also benefitted from the risk-on mood as copper prices rose. Basic resources stocks rose 3 percent, the biggest percentage riser.

Ryanair, up 5.3 percent, was another gainer after a well-received earnings update. Europe’s largest carrier by passengers lifted its long-term growth forecast by 10 percent and said it would return an additional 550 million euros to shareholders by February.

The top STOXX gainer was Ferrari, up nearly 7 percent after Q3 results beat forecasts.

PostNL gained 5.8 percent, after the Dutch postal company rebuffed a raised takeover offer from Belgian rival Bpost, saying it wished to remain an independent group, as it also delivered strong results.

Among top losers were Zalando, which fell 3.8 percent following a two-notch downgraded to “sell” from UBS, and precious metals miners Fresnillo and Randgold, which were supported last week as investors sought safe haven assets due to concerns over the U.S. vote’s outcome.

Editing by Andrew Roche

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